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child access query(5 Posts)
Hi I have a quick query. At what age can a child/teenager decide whether they want to see their father, if the father is going to go to court over it. The ex who hasnt been interested for over 18 months keeps making threats about this. He was a emotional bully, and aggressive and a narcissist. I have always left it up to the children to decide if they want to see him or any contact and they do not want this. They are 17 14 and 8, I have been in no contact with him at all since February of this year, he continues to send threatening aggressive emails. I changed my mobile number last year due to the texts I was getting. He has sent over 200 emails with no response from me. Is there a age the children get listened too and can they have their own solicitor/advocate if he did follow threw with any of the threats he is making? Thanks for any help.
The courts will listen to the children - broadly speaking the 17 year old will get what they want, the 14 year old opinion is very persuasive, the 8 year old less so - it depends on the judge.
If the threats are about anything other than taking you to court for access, log them with the police.
Harrassing/threatening behaviour isn't generally considered as sufficient grounds for access not to happen (I know you haven't stopped access. Just saying your ex being a total knobber doesn't mean the courts then ban him from seeing the children if he goes to court).
I'd say no chance re 17 year old. Maybe re the others. In my case the court ordered supervised contact because of mental health concerns. Then Cafcass were involved and a section 7 report done where the wishes and feelings of the children were recorded. They didn't want to see him and Cafcass recommended no direct contact after that due to ex's personality traits
being a narcisst.
Whole thing took about 10 months and 3k in solicitors fees.
Oh, meant to say my children were 10 and 8 at the time and their views were certainly taken seriously by Cafcass.
Mediation is meant to take place before any court proceedings though. I was exempt from going to this due to ex's past behaviour.
I would just ignore as you have been doing OP. We have spent over a decade in and out of court with DHs ex - securing contact/enforcement/residence etc etc... So coming at it from the other side. We have been through the whole section 9 reports from CAFCASS where the children's thoughts and wishes are recorded . Before he gets anywhere, he will have to put an application into the court. The court will require that you both attend mediation. The first cost is to him. If he self represents then the court cost is £212 (two yrs ago).. The mediation cost between £150 and £250 each. (You can contact mediator and discuss either shuttle mediation if you don't want to be in same room - or refuse if he has been abusive, in which case the mediation will be signed off and proceed straight to court. As the respondent, you simply 'respond' . Self representing is the norm these days. It's pretty easy really. He tells the court why he should see the kids. You tell them why you disagree. Your children tell them (through CAFCASS - why they disagree ) Judge makes a decision . No cost to you except the time to attend court. Decisions are , court ordered contact unsupervised. Supervised at a third party . (He sees them where he is supervised) indirect contact (phone calls/letters/emails - again directly or via you or a grandparent- or No contact. 17 yr old will get their wish, fairly likely that the 14 yr old will as well. 8 yr old much less likely.
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